Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pork and cashews

It's not as though I really need more cookbooks. I'm sure my cookbook shelf is modest compared to many others (my mother has many more than I do, as does The Cruise Director, just to name two). But I went to Micawber Books last week and brought home two more cookbooks from their used section. Even though the cookbooks I already have are stuffed with bookmarks announcing the locations of recipes I want to try, last night I cooked something from one of my new used cookbooks, Ken Hom's Hot Wok. This cookbook was meant to accompany a tv series Hom did, and this book is the BBC edition, so it mentions things like aubergines and groundnut oil.

Last night's experiment was "Stir-Fried Chilli Pork with Cashews." You marinate the sliced pork in a blend of Shao Xing rice wine, light soy, sesame oil and cornstarch. From there, you stir-fry the pork (seasoned with salt and pepper) for two minutes, then turn it out of the pan. Next to be stir-fried are the cashews; after that you add some more rice wine, light soy, some hot bean sauce and sugar. Then the pork is returned to the pan and everything is stir-fried for another two minutes. It is intended to be served with rice and garnished with scallions, but I didn't prep enough to coordinate that much. No matter, as it worked out well. It reminded me of a less oily Sichuan spaghetti. The recipe calls for one tablespoon of the hot bean sauce, which is enough to add a good bite, but not so much as to make it too hot. You could easily add more or less hot bean sauce, to taste.

Hot Wok includes an assortment of dishes, mostly Asian or Asian-inspired. Heck, it might even inspire me to clean out my wok one of these days.

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